(RoyalPatriot.com )- Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, has been sentenced to spend 30 months behind bars for his role in trying to extort money from Nike.
In February of last year, Avenatti was convicted on three counts of threatening to accuse Nike publicly of paying amateur basketball players unless they paid him millions of dollars.
Paul Gardephe, the U.S. District judge on the case, said at his sentencing:
“Mr. Avenatti’s conduct was outrageous. Mr. Avenatti had become drunk on the power of his platform, or what he perceived his platform to be.”
The evidence that lawyers presented during the trial showed that Avenatti threatened Nike lawyers. He said he’d hold a news conference that claimed Nike illegally paid amateur players.
He said he wouldn’t go public with this information if Nike paid Gary Franklin $1.5 million. Franklin is a. youth basketball coach who was Avenatti’s client at the time.
The lawyer also demanded $12 million be paid to him and another lawyer, and another $25 million for “an internal investigation.”
Following these conversations, lawyers for Nike approached prosecutors claiming this was an attempt to extort the company. Then, the FBI proceeded to record conversations that happened after that between Nike and Avenatti secretly. Those recorded calls were the basis for the prosecutors’ indictment against the lawyer.
Avenatti is still facing potential trials in two other criminal incidents. One is in California over alleged defrauding of clients at his firm. The other is in New York, where he’s alleged to have defrauded Daniels of $300,000 that came from the advance on her book.
For all matters, Avenatti got off lucky this week. The sentence recommendation according to the guidelines was anywhere from 108 to 135 months. It was much more than what his counsel had asked for, which was six months in prison.
Matthew Podolsky, the prosecutor in the case, said Avenatti showed a “profound lack of remorse.
“This case was not about hard-nosed negotiations. It was about deceit, it was about threats, it was about taking from others and it was about abuse of trust.”
Part of the reason why the judge gave Avenatti a shorter sentence was the fact that he endured “horrific” conditions while he was at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he was held since his detention started.
While there — a federal facility located in lower Manhattan — he was in solitary confinement for 100 days. The facility then went into lockdown twice. One of the lockdowns was because someone smuggled a gun into the prison. The other was because of the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
The judge commented on the conditions Avenatti faced, saying it was “hard to believe they could occur in the United States of America.”
He continued that giving Avenatti a very long sentence in prison wouldn’t be just. The main reason for that was that one of his former co-conspirators in the case never actually faced charges.
Avenatti has to report to federal prison in Oregon by September 15.